1. For a blessed period in your forties you gave up on working on your damage. You thought: this is it, this is just who I am. But now you have returned to the self-help grindstone, mystified by your own inability to be retrained. How, at this point in your life, is everything still about your mother?
2. Your feelings for your personal trainer are getting a little weird. You feel included and transformed by his youth back into some high school version of yourself, hanging with the cool crowd, doing power squats. Being with him makes you use the word “dope,” and even you can see the rigid blankness of his face as he refuses to cringe.
3. Your hairs are giving up. You no longer grow leg or underarm hair. Even your eyelashes are so short and brittle they spontaneously discharge from their follicles like suicide jumpers. It is yet another sign, like your dry vagina, of your waning life force.
4. You are supposed to retire soon, but you have saved nothing and it seems too late to start. What will happen?
5. You are no longer willing to submit to the horror of internet dating, and so you drift into a loverly, but non-sexual relationship with one of your exes. He brings steaks, you grill, he drinks all your wine, you refuse to let him fuck you. It is stable and satisfies both of you somehow.
6. You pride yourself on the efficiency of your masturbation. You have gotten things stably under two minutes. It is almost Pavlovian, all you need is the first couple of sentences of a Penthouse Letter. Probably you could just read da-da-ist word salad of erotica and get off.
7. Your dog ages his tennis balls in the back yard so that they smell like death. But it is more than death, this smell. It is like he has been storing them in the crotch of some ancient necrotic goddess. Once they are sufficiently disgusting, he hides them in your bed.
8. One of the misfortunes of middle age is that you formed all of your most important friendships when you were younger and more lost, so now all your most dear friends are kind of insane and bad at living. There is nothing to be done about this. It is just an observation.
9. There is a wrinkle on your forehead that every two weeks or so creates a small crystalline seed. Why?
10. Your daughter has moved closer to you and now you get to see your grandchildren whenever you want and be included in their chaotic, very loud household. You don’t like it as much as you thought you would. Thank goodness you yourself only had the one child. You couldn’t have handled more. You would have become a drunk like your mother. Good fortune, you are finding out, is most often to be observed in the things that didn’t happen.
11. Some of life’s problems cannot be solved. But you can always binge watch The Good Wife, and that’s not nothing.